The Fiery Cross

Claire’s Potato Fritters at the Gathering in TFC

Claire’s Potato Fritters at the Gathering in TFC

“Abel, a charaid!” Jamie had paused to greet the last of the men from Drunkard’s Creek. “Will ye ha’ eaten yet the day?”

MacLennan had not brought his wife to the Gathering, and thus ate where luck took him. The crowd was dispersing around us, but he stood stolidly in place, holding the ends of a red flannel handkerchief pulled over his balding head against the spatter of rain. Probably hoping to cadge an invitation to breakfast, I thought cynically.

I eyed his stocky form, mentally estimating his possible consumption of eggs, parritch, and toasted bread against the dwindling supplies in our hampers. Not that simple shortage of food would stop any Highlander from offering hospitality— certainly not Jamie, who was inviting MacLennan to join us, even as I mentally divided eighteen eggs by nine people instead of eight. Not fried, then; made into fritters with grated potatoes, and I’d best borrow more coffee from Jocasta’s campsite on the way up the mountain.

We turned to go, and Jamie’s hand slid suddenly downward over my backside. I made an undignified sound , and Abel MacLennan turned round to gawk at me . I smiled brightly at him, resisting the urge to kick Jamie again, less discreetly.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 1 – Happy the Bride the Sun Shines On)

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Sweet Potato Pie from The Fiery Cross

Sweet Potato Pie from The Fiery Cross

“I don’t imagine it was much of a contest,” I murmured, helping him to peel off the dusty coat. “William Tryon’s not even Scots, let alone a Fraser.”

That got me a reluctant half-smile. “Stubborn as rocks,” was the succinct description of the Fraser clan I had been given years before—and nothing in the intervening time period had given me cause to think it inaccurate in any way.

“Aye, well.” He shrugged and stretched luxuriously, his vertebrae cracking from the long ride. “ Oh, Christ. I’m starved; is there food?” He relaxed and lifted his long nose, sniffing the air hopefully.

“Baked ham and sweet potato pie,” I told him, unnecessarily, since the honey-soaked fragrances of both were thick on the humid air. “So what did the Governor say, once you’d got him properly browbeaten?” 

His teeth showed briefly at that description of his interview with Tryon, but I gathered from his faint air of satisfaction that it wasn’t totally incorrect. “Oh, a number of things. But to begin with, I insisted he recall to me the circumstances when Roger Mac was taken; who gave him up, and what was said. I mean to get to the bottom of it.” He pulled the thong from his hair and shook out the damp locks, dark with sweat.

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 73 – A Whiter Shade of Pale)

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Blueberry Bridies for Canada Day

Blueberry Bridies for Canada Day

“But if Hamish mac Callum still lives…” Jamie had not taken his hand from Roger’s shoulder, and at this it squeezed tight.  “That’s news to gladden the heart, no?”  He smiled at Roger, with such obvious joy that Roger felt an unexpected grin break out on his own face in answer.

“Aye,” he said, the weight on his heart lightening.  “Aye, it is!”   The fact that he would not know Hamish mac Callum MacKenzie from a hole in the ground was unimportant; the man was indeed kin to him – blood kin – and that was a glad thought.

“Where have they gone, then?  Jamie demanded, dropping his hand.  “Hamish and his followers?”

To Acadia – to Canada, the Bugs agreed.  To Nova Scotia?  To Maine?  No – to an island, they decided, after a convoluted conference.  Or was it perhaps-

Jemmy interrupted the proceedings with a yowl indicating imminent starvation, and Mrs. Bug started as though poked with a stick.”

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 8 – The Factor)

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Cherry Bounce 2013

Cherry Bounce 2013

It’s that time of year again!  Are you ready to get your Cherry Bounce on?  We had dozens join in the fun last year, and I’m pretty sure we all loved the Bounce — it was sweet, boozy and delicious — without too much of the cough syrup taste that many of us feared.

Join us!  All you need is a pound of cherries, the hoochiest bottle of booze you can find (we had Vodka, Brandy, Everclear and a few other versions in addition to whisky last year — all with rave reviews!)

You’ll find the recipe in my post from last year:  The Great Cherry Bounce Experiment.  Come on, you know you want to…

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Mrs. Bug’s Buttermilk Drop Biscuits from The Fiery Cross

Mrs. Bug’s Buttermilk Drop Biscuits from The Fiery Cross

IT SEEMED RATHER  a long time before Jamie reappeared, though the indignant cries of the searchers had been quickly stilled.  If Jamie had got his bum smacked, Roger thought cynically, he appeared to have enjoyed it.  A slight flush showed on the high cheekbones, and he wore a faint but definite air of satisfaction.

This was explained at once, though, when Jamie produced a small bundle from inside his shirt and unwrapped a linen towel, revealing half a dozen fresh biscuits, still warm, and dripping with melted butter and honey.

“I think perhaps Mrs. Bug meant them for the quilting circle,” he said, distributing the booty.  “But here was plenty of batter left in the bowl; I doubt they’ll be missed.”

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 108 – Tulach Ard)

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